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Chivers Hammerhead Custom 206 Walk Around Boat Review

Boat Review Date: April 2013
Author: Mike Brown

Any of the Chivers Shark-series boats makes the basis for a class fishing boat, but the Hammerhead 206 has possibly the combination of size, affordability and capability to suit the most. The buyer of the review boat was more interested in enhancing the capability than he was in its affordability. Within the standard structure almost everything else was made or installed to order.

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Dave is as serious a fisher as I have met; 35 miles offshore and 500 metres depth. He wants to waste no time in getting there so specified a 200hp motor, and because he wants to arrive relaxed added an autopilot. Great depths call for powerful sounders. A pair of 2kW transducers in custom mounts does the job, giving good readings at 120m even at 23 knots.

The 22-deg deadrise hull, with the massive strength of its full depth fore and aft framing, is proving well up to its task of consuming miles in a wide range of sea conditions. The water ballasting system comes into its own when the motor stops, delivering a level and steady platform for fishing.

Centre cabs on any but large boats are used for shelter and storage rather than sleeping, but even shelter does not enter the equation for this owner who simply wanted his storage better arranged. Chivers added a bulkhead to the cabin’s interior to give two compartments. With a gas-strut lifted boot lid added to the front end of the cabin, this arrangement means all stored gear is no more than an arm’s reach from outside.

Sheltered by the extended sides of the cabin, a Bimini, and clears above the windscreen are two excellent seats: swivelling and sliding armchairs, with the right resilience for vigorous driving and with lifting bolsters for stand-up driving. There are footrests for sitting, well placed hand holds, and a throttle that falls nicely to hand. The dash ahead of them displays fearsome electronics: a Furuno FCV-295 light commercial sounder display and a Simrad NSS-12 touch screen GPS plotter.

The under deck structure lends itself to fore and aft tanks that have less effect on trim at varying loads than transverse ones, and there are some useful volumes there. The fuel tank holds 260 litres, and the pair of catch tanks hold 140 litres each – although they can also hold water ballast to give super stability. Two large anglers at the rail, even sitting on it, disturbed the 206 hardly at all with just the standard ballast in place; with the extra 280 litres it would be glued to the ocean.

The subsidiary fishing equipment is up to the rest of the Hammerhead’s fit-out. The deck wash has a satisfyingly high pressure; the bait table is complex and efficient – bait cutting, trace control and oddment storage all taken care of. Should the owner ever diversify into diving or swimming the excellent scuba ladder will come into its own.

The standard Chivers details are all present, in particular the precautions against paint chipping. Everything likely to hit a jetty or catch the abrasion of a rope is minus paint and is polished. Everything about the boat says that this could be a lifetime proposition.

Price from              $79,900
Price as reviewed    $108,000
Hull length              6.1m
Beam                     2.5m
Towing weight        1750kg (approx)
Fuel capacity          260L
Motor fitted            200hp Yamaha four-stroke

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